Amalgam Fillings vs. Composite Fillings
There are typically two different types of fillings to choose from when fixing your teeth after the cavity (decay) has been removed. Resin based composite or silver amalgam. Each one of these has a different set of pros and cons, although both are extremely effective at repairing teeth.
Resin composite fillings are made of a mixture of ceramic and plastic. This material is used on both front and back teeth for several reasons. The color of resin will be a matching tooth color which makes them blend in with teeth. Up-to-date modern composites have an excellent track record when placed properly with good longevity.
By contrast, amalgam or mercury-based silver fillings are more durable than resin composites with a century of formulation. As you know amalgam is silvery looking and not placed in front teeth. They are made from a mixture of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. The way that these metals bind together is what makes amalgam so durable. For this reason silver fillings are typically used for back teeth. Additionally, amalgam tends to be slightly less expensive than resin due to its ease and speed of placement.
Though there is negative press about amalgam fillings, both resin and amalgam each are completely safe to use, so this should not be a factor when choosing which type best suits you. Cost, cosmetic concerns, dental history, type and the size of cavity will be factors that your dentist should discuss when choosing which type of dental filling is right for the situation. Dr. Dan will be happy to speak with you about what is your best choice!